March 2020

Congratulations to our lab manager, Sifana Sohail, who will be going to Yale University's Psychology PhD program starting in Fall 2020!

Congratulations also to Sifana on having her poster accepted at the Society for Philosophy and Psychology.


January 2020

The lab celebrates several accomplishments and awards!

  • Lab RAs Michelle Ortiz and Rui Zhang were awarded a UROP fellowship.

  • Lab RAs Taylor Ashqar, Katherine Brogan, Sahrai Garcia, Danyang Ma, Alek Marantz, and Rakat Rahman received Honorary UROP fellowships.

  • Lab Director Nadia Chernyak received the 2019 UCI Social Sciences Assistant Professor Research Award.

  • Lab RA Sahrai Garcia initiated a collaboration with the Video Game Design Club. We will be partnering with them to create educational games to study children's socio-emotional relatedness to others.


October 15, 2019

Nadia and Sifana presented at the Cognitive Development Society!

Sifana presented 2 posters on the relationship between early numeracy skills and children's prosocial behavior.

Nadia presented a talk on the link between empathy and prosocial behavior.

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July 29, 2019

A write-up of the lab's recent findings on the development of reciprocity has been featured in The Conversation!

Check out the write-up here:


July 15, 2019

The lab receives funding from the National Science Foundation! We will be partnering with Boston College to investigate how social contexts can be used to promote young children's learning of math concepts.

If you are a school or educational center interested in figuring out the best ways to promote math learning, we'd love to work with you. Please contact Dr. Chernyak to discuss opportunities!


July 10-13, 2019

Sifana, Stephen, and Nadia presented their work at the Society for Philosophy and Psychology in San Diego!

Sifana and Stephen presented work on the relationship between numerical cognition and our notions of fairness. Nadia presented work on the development of direct reciprocity.


June 17, 2019

Congratulations to the lab's graduating seniors, Ameera and Jose!

All of our undergraduates collaborated on writing grants and received 3 undergraduate research grants from the SURP/UROP UCI program! Congratulations to Ameera, Danyang, Jose, Katherine, Nina, Rui, Sahrai, and Samia! They will be carrying out their projects this summer and fall.


April 9, 2019

Congratulations to lab postbac research assistant Stephen Sanders who has officially accepted a lab manager position at the Social Learning Lab at Stanford University!

Congratulations to Sifana and Stephen for having poster presentations accepted to the Society for Philosophy and Psychology annual conference. Come to see updates on our recent lab work at the conference in San Diego in July!


March 14, 2019

The lab celebrates:

1) A new paper! Check out our work on the development of reciprocity, to be published in Psychological Science. Pre-print here:

2) A new partnership! The lab will be partnering with Pretend City Children's Museum. We will be visiting Pretend City to do science and play our games.


January, 2019

The lab welcomes 7 new research assistants from UCI! Get to know our research assistants here.

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November 6, 2018

We are recruiting graduate students to join us for the Fall of 2019! Interested students should contact Dr. Chernyak to discuss potential fit, and plan to apply through the Cognitive Sciences PhD program at UC-Irvine. Successful applicants will be guaranteed 5 years of funding.

We are also recruiting undergraduate research assistants to join the lab. Please click the "Join Us" page for more information on how to apply.

World Peace

November 6, 2018

The lab has 2 new papers out on cross-cultural work! One article investigates prosocial behavior in rural Zambian children. A second article compares U.S. and Singaporean children's discussions of freedom of choice. Feel free to email us to receive an advanced copy:

  • Varieties of young children's prosocial behavior in  Zambia: the role of cognitive ability, wealth, and inequality beliefs. To appear in a special issue on prosocial behavior in Frontiers in Developmental Psychology.

  • The cultural roots of free will beliefs: How Singaporean and U.S. children explain possibilities for action in interpersonal contexts. To appear in Developmental Psychology.

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August 1, 2018

The lab has 2 new papers out! Feel free to email us to receive an advanced copy:

  • Explaining early moral hypocrisy: Numerical cognition promotes equal sharing in preschool-aged children. To appear in Developmental Science.

  • Number-based sharing: Adult-child conversation about quantity in the context of resource distribution. Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

July 3, 2018

A write-up for the lab's recent findings has been featured in the Greater Good Magazine! Click here to read more!

July 1, 2018

The Development of Social Cognition Lab is official as of July 1, 2018! We will open our doors starting Fall 2018, and we welcome its first two lab members: Principal Investigator/Director Dr. Nadia Chernyak, and Lab Manager Sifana Sohail.

Get to know Nadia and Sifana here.